A Blackpool born and bred musician has been named as the best club entertainer in a prestigious awards ceremony.
Saxophonist Ben Barnett, known as the Sax Man, won the best club entertainment category at the London Club and Bar Awards.
The former Arnold School pupil plays freestyle saxophone alongside top DJs in some of the capital’s top nightspots, including Bodo’s Schloss on Kensington High Street, a favourite haunt of Prince Harry’s. The 29-year-old regularly plays on the London circuit and has travelled to play gigs in 24 countries over the last two years, something he thinks helped him see off competition from 12 other nominees.
He said: “It’s great to even be nominated and even better to win. I think my regularity of gigs across some of the finest venues in London clinched it for me, I have residencies across the best clubs.”
Ben, son of Danielle and John Barnett, founder of Radio Wave, first started music classes as a ten-year-old.
When friends started to pursue ambitions to be DJs and club promoters Ben drew on his talent to create a new attraction in clubs. In recent years he has worked in exclusive venues, including in London, Paris, New York, Ibiza and Hong Kong, and has featured on the Ushuaia Ibiza album.
And he has recently branched out from the music industry to establish a clothing line, Saxually Active, and launching a fashion and lifestyle blog.
He added: “It’s an incredible job. My grandad always said ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ and I’ve found that. I wanted to follow my passion and dreams to become a saxophone player and be in the music industry. I started out playing in Poulton and Blackpool and it’s grown naturally, by word of mouth. It’s now a full-time career for me and I’ve built up an international reputation.
“Starting out in a town like Blackpool was great and I’m very proud of my roots and being from such an exciting town.”
Ben is now planning on organising a ‘homecoming’ gig in the resort, where he grew up close to Stanley Park, and hopes to bring some of the capitals best loved DJs with him. He added: “Blackpool has the potential to be as good as any of the entertainment I’ve seen around the world. It’s a great place to be.”
Follow: facebook.com/thesaxmanuk or: instagram.com/thesaxmanuk